|Pennsylvania law requires that lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time or the victim loses their right to recovery. These time limitations vary depending upon the type of case. For example, claims for libel and slander generally must be filed within one year while a claim for personal injury must generally be filed within two years of the accident. States vary on the amount of time allowed to file cases. Therefore, you must check with a lawyer on all cases to determine the exact amount of time you have to file a cause of action against another person or entity.
The basis behind regulating time limits on personal injury cases is based upon the fact that people tend to forget circumstances and events over time. In addition, people move, die, become disabled over the years and the law attempts to preserve the recollection of events to a time period that people generally can recall events. Finally, the law protects people from being sued if an inordinate time has passed.
Exceptions do exist that may extend these time limits. For example, children are afforded a right to pursue a claim that occurred during their minority up until their 20th birthday. Additionally, medical claims may be extended if the plaintiff can prove a lack of knowledge and understanding of the alleged malpractice until a later date.
Based upon the numerous and varied limitations of time in Pennsylvania, it is imperative for the accident victim to contact a personal injury specialist to advise you on the statute of limitation that applies to your particular case.